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India Surpasses Hong Kong in Market Cap Race, Emerging as Global Investment Magnet



Indian Rupee

India’s stock market capitalization has overtaken Hong Kong’s for the first time as the South Asian nation’s growth prospects and policy reforms make it an investor darling while global capital pours out of China.

The combined value of shares listed on Indian exchanges reached $4.33 trillion as of Monday’s close, versus $4.29 trillion for Hong Kong, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That makes India the fourth-biggest equity market globally. Its value crossed $4 trillion for the first time on Dec. 5, with about half of that coming in the past four years.

Equities in India have been booming, thanks to a rapidly growing retail investor base and strong corporate earnings. The world’s most populous country has positioned itself as an alternative to China, attracting fresh capital from global investors and companies alike, thanks to its stable political setup and a consumption-driven economy that remains among the fastest-growing of major nations.

The relentless rally in Indian stocks has coincided with a historic slump in Hong Kong, where some of China’s most influential and innovative firms are listed. Beijing’s stringent anti-Covid-19 curbs, regulatory crackdowns on corporations, a property-sector crisis and geopolitical tensions with the West have all combined to erode China’s appeal as the world’s growth engine.

“We see India as the best structural growth story across not just emerging markets, but worldwide,” said Evan Metcalf, CEO at Global X ETFs. “While China’s growth has stalled and is mired in uncertainty, India has a generational opportunity to emerge as the growth engine of emerging markets. Demographics are a key advantage, coupled with a surge in educated youth and a progressive government pursuing key structural reforms.”

Meanwhile, Chinese and Hong Kong equities are suffering a rout of epic proportions, with the total market value of their stocks having tumbled by more than $6 trillion since their peaks in 2021. New listings have dried up in Hong Kong, with the Asian financial hub losing its status as one of the world’s busiest venues for initial public offerings.

Some strategists have been expecting a turnaround. UBS Group AG sees Chinese stocks outperforming Indian peers in 2024 as battered valuations in the former suggest significant upside potential once sentiment turns, while the latter is at “fairly extreme levels,” according to a November report. Bernstein expects the Chinese market to recover, and recommends taking profits on Indian stocks, which it sees as expensive, according to a note earlier this month.

On Tuesday, equities in mainland China climbed after the nation’s authorities were said to consider a package of measures to stabilize the slumping market.

That said, momentum seems to be on India’s side for now.

Foreigners who until recently were enamored with the China narrative are sending their funds over to its South Asian rival. Global pension and sovereign wealth managers are also seen favoring India, according to a recent study by London-based think-tank Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum.

Despite a 2.8% rally on Tuesday, the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index — a gauge of Chinese shares listed in Hong Kong — is down more than 10% in 2024 after capping a record four-year losing streak in 2023. It is near hovering its lowest level in almost two decades, while India’s stock benchmarks are trading close to record-high levels.

Overseas funds poured more than $21 billion into Indian shares in 2023, helping the country’s benchmark S&P BSE Sensex Index cap an eighth consecutive year of gains.

“There is a clear consensus that India is the best long-term investment opportunity,” Goldman Sachs Group Inc. strategists including Guillaume Jaisson and Peter Oppenheimer wrote in a note Jan. 16 with results of a survey from the firm’s Global Strategy Conference.

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Nigerian Exchange Limited

Nigeria’s Market Falls 1.09% Amid Decline in Key Sectors



Nigerian Exchange Limited - Investors King

Nigeria’s stock market closed the trading week ended Friday, April 12, with a decline of 1.09% following a downturn influenced by notable drops in the banking, insurance, and consumer goods sectors.

This shift resulted in a loss of about N638 billion for investors during the two-day trading week, which was shortened due to public holidays for Eid Mubarak.

The Nigerian Exchange Limited’s (NGX) All-Share Index (ASI) decreased from an opening high of 103,437.67 points to 102,314.56 points.

Meanwhile, market capitalization also dropped from N58.498 trillion to N57.860 trillion over the review period.

The market’s month-to-date (MtD) performance fell by 2.15%, and the year-to-date (YtD) return is now at 36.83%.

Futureview research analysts had previously forecasted a mixed performance in the equities market as investors adjusted their positions in anticipation of upcoming corporate actions and dividend payouts.

The analysts also predicted a possible shift in focus towards the fixed income market, which could influence short-term investment decisions.

While the market faced challenges this week, analysts expect a resurgence of buying interest driven by upcoming corporate actions and earnings reports, attracting investors looking to benefit from dividend payments.

Their recommendation to investors is to consider investing in high-quality stocks with strong fundamentals for potential returns.

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Zenith Bank to Pay N109.88bn Dividends to Shareholders for 2023



Zenith Bank - Investors King

Zenith Bank, one of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions, is set to distribute dividends totaling N109.88 billion to its shareholders for the 2023 financial year.

The announcement was made as part of the bank’s annual report filed with the Nigerian Exchange Limited on Monday.

The dividends amount to N4.00 per share. This includes a final dividend of N3.50 per share and an interim dividend of N0.50 per share paid earlier in the year.

The proposed dividends are subject to approval by shareholders at the next Annual General Meeting (AGM) and are payable from the retained earnings accounts as of December 31, 2023.

Throughout the fiscal year, Zenith Bank’s gross earnings surged by 125.50 percent to N2.13 trillion compared to N945 billion in the previous year.

The increase in gross earnings contributed to the bank’s impressive profit after tax, which increased to N676.91 billion, an increase from N223.91 billion recorded in 2022.

This positive performance was driven by the increase in interest and similar income, which rose to N1.14 trillion from N540 billion.

However, the bank experienced a decline in net income on fees and commission, dropping to N109.31 billion from N132.79 billion in 2022, indicating a 17.68 percent decrease.

This decline was attributed to an increase in fees and commission expenses, which grew to N68.21 billion from N24.42 billion in the previous year.

Also, Zenith Bank disclosed various operational expenses incurred during the year, including insurance premiums paid to Zenith General Insurance Limited and Prudential Zenith, as well as payments for information technology services rendered by Cyberspace Network.


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Nigerian Exchange Limited

VFD Group Plc’s Rights Issue Listed on NGX’s Daily Official List



VFD Group- Investors King

The Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) has listed VFD Group Plc’s Rights Issue on its Daily Official List.

The move follows the approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and represents a crucial step in the company’s growth trajectory.

The Rights Issue comprises 63,342,455 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each priced at N197.33 per share, bringing the total value of the issue to N12.499 billion. With this listing, VFD Group Plc’s total issued and fully paid-up shares have surged from 190,027,365 to 253,369,820 ordinary shares.

According to a report by NGX, the additional shares listed arose from VFD’s Rights Issue on the basis of one ordinary share for every three ordinary shares held as of October 12, 2023.

This move underscores VFD Group Plc’s commitment to expanding its shareholder base and enhancing liquidity in the market.

The approval by SEC for the Rights Issue further solidifies VFD Group Plc’s position in the market. Gbeminiyi Shoda, the Group Company Secretary of VFD Group Plc, confirmed that the Qualification Date for the Rights Issue was October 12, 2023, with the application list opening on December 20, 2023, for a maximum period of 31 days.

VFD Group Plc’s Rights Issue comes on the heels of its recent listing on the Main Board of the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX). The listing of 190 million units of shares at N244.88 per share added N46.527 billion to NGX’s market capitalization, reflecting the company’s growing influence in the Nigerian capital market.

VFD Group Plc, known for its sector-agnostic proprietary investment approach, aims to create positive and socially conscious ecosystems by aggregating potentially viable businesses. The Rights Issue listing underscores the company’s strategic move to increase visibility, access capital, and enhance liquidity, ultimately benefiting its investors and stakeholders.

Investors and market analysts are closely watching the developments surrounding VFD Group Plc as it continues to expand its footprint in the Nigerian financial landscape. With the successful listing of its Rights Issue on NGX, the company is poised for further growth and value creation in the market.

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